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Poster: lobster12 Date: Apr 9, 2008 2:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: dead heads as critics

In the recently reviewed section there is the Philly gig from 95 where the most recent reviewer says, "we as dead heads have always been a musically critical bunch" Do you feel that way? I thought the exact opposite. I thought heads were too soft on the Boys. I had no problems if they were stinking up the joint, as long as they tried something. Risk/reward. I don't think there was a lot of that in the end and I think that's where the harsh reviews stem from. I was at a gig in oakland where they played a 35 minute first set. That was after an opening act and the hour break to set the stage. I turned to the person next to me and said, "that was the worst set I ever saw" he said, "doesn't matter. it's all good."

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Apr 9, 2008 4:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

I try to be as objective as possible...also, one of the biggest cop-out hippy dippy remarks is when somebody is critical and then they get jumped on woth a response like "just be grateful for music man..." that's very nice and all but when the boys sucked like a bunch of musical retards, I'll call it, when they jammed like no other band on the planet, I'll call it...

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Apr 9, 2008 4:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

i agree with strat call it like it is,i've seen some and heard some turd shows and you always get someone saying they are just trying something new or it's all on how you hear it..lol.they where humans who had good days and bad one's just like everyone else.

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Poster: Hugh Winnegin Date: Apr 9, 2008 5:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

You've got to call it what it is.When they were in the top of their game no one could touch them, it was magic. There were some nights where they plain just sucked. To read some reviews here, one would think it was all good. Too many "5 star shows" that shouldn't be. Usually when you read those reviews they're more about the reviewer's personal experience and mention little description of the music. So you "ate a lot of shrooms and it was a sunny day"-good for you!,but how was the band?

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Apr 9, 2008 5:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

That's the way i feel, especially for the site reviews. I need objective opinion, even if it's negative. Hey look, I had a great time in Vegas no matter what, but calling it like it is, I was pretty PO'd when I'd drive through the desert, get in early to get a good seat, sit through the opening act in 100 degree plus weather only to have them half ass a 6 song set on a regular basis. I don't think negatively commenting on such a thing is so wrong

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 9, 2008 5:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics: doesn't add up...

Now you're talking...I truly believe that the only critically acclaimed shows of the boys reside pre 72.

Does that get your attention?

That is even with the understanding that there is a lot to critique for those first six years...

But, my point is that the folks that love material over the last 24 yrs of the band largely consist of those that would love them no matter what they would have done...

Let me have it, folks, I can take it...

Whoops...gotta get my years straight for this upcoming battle.

This post was modified by William Tell on 2008-04-10 00:56:56

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Apr 9, 2008 5:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics: doesn't add up...

I see your point. I can't speak for you but I'm guessing that within all of those pre 72 shows you are passionate about you could point out real greatness and also single out the off nights. And to take it a step further, you probably can tell a night when the band wanted to be somewhere else as opposed to trying something creative and failing.

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Poster: sydthecat2 Date: Apr 10, 2008 8:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics: doesn't add up...

Oh William Tell is stretching his bow once again.

Listen, after reading some of the scathing reviews of shows on the Archive, particularly from the last couple of years, I can honestly say that Bobby was wrong, wrong, wrong about us. WE know a hawk from a handsaw. Of course there are people who went to Dead shows and loved them all. Hey, I saw shows I liked at the time and then heard on tape later and thought, man, I was way too high (to know). And I also saw shows I thought were duds and heard them on tape later and thought, where the hell was I---this show rocks!!!

Here's a case in point of me being a curmudgeon. I remember seeing the first Shoreline show of May '92 and immediately thinking "Something's wrong." and afterwards thinking "Oh, they're just warming up." but a woman (Dead family I'm pretty sure)ran up to us. She had seen us dancing and said Alysa and I looked like we had a great show and that we had been a joy to watch. Truthfully, we were just glad to be there!! Then she asked us each what we thought of it. I really disappointed her by saying they'll be better tomorrow. Oooops, no backstage pass for us! But I called it like I saw it. I saw one of my last Morning Dews in that run one or two nights later and it wasn't very good (especially compared to the one I had last seen, in Deer Creek in '90). Not long afterwards the August Shoreline/Cal Expo shows were" cancelled and Jerry was "ill"---again. Last warning for our hero which he heeded for about five minutes. Morning Dew was never the same again actually but he surprised me in '94 with a couple sterling ones in Deer Creek and Seattle (wow!) and one at the Omni in '95. In fact '94 in many respects was better than most of '92. I only talk about those years because they're the biggest targets.

But as for you Mr. Tell, I have this to say. I was playing a lot of '95 lately trying to replace my Three Rivers with something better---I chose the second Riverfront show. That evening after the kids were in bed my wife came down and I clicked on '69 and played the Avalon(?)I think, or the Carousel more likely from April 69. I began with Mountains of the Moon, very nice, and then Dark Star and WHAT a Dark Star! After listening to a drug-crippled Jerry in '95 all day this was heady stuff. I was moving into downloading mode, this is a must have I thought----but after Dark Star the show begins to fall apart and even though there is NO comparison I came to the conclusion that the show is really a bit of a dud apart from the DS---the China Cat is a little rampant, the Cosmic Charlie is sloppy etc. I said to Alysa, "Well, they're probably high on acid on this night so what do you expect?" They must have got tired sometimes even then.

My point is that, although I read these four star reviews for almost every year, particularly up to 1978, and when I play them I often have that same, "What are these guys hearing that I'm not?" moment. I've even taken the time to download stuff on spec because of it and then tossed the show later. Conversely, I've taped shows that have got mediocre reviews hearing some real fine stuff or an intensity that others missed. The fact is that for people who are rabid fans of certain eras, a certain leeway is given or a certain emotion is attached. And I have absolutely no problem with that. AT ALL! I love all you Deadheads, even you picky ones.

Now, as to their best stuff being played in that era that you love so much, William...well we all have our little quirks. There are many times when I play late 60's stuff and think "THIS was the real Grateful Dead!". But I know in my heart that's not true. Back when there still WAS a Grateful Dead I used to love telling 74/77heads who used to trash Brent to my face that the band went downhill after Pigpen left and would do a "William Tell" on them just to watch their faces.

There's some bloke who is as hot on '77 as you are on the 60's stuff and his "handle" escapes me now. I'd have to go to that year's reviews. It'd be fun to arrange a formal debate between you and him in a neutral place, preferably with beer, food and a wicked sound system (with juice and coffee for the Wharf Rats)and let you both make your cases. We'd all hear some good music for sure!!!

sydney

I know, I don't post for months and then I just go off!

This post was modified by sydthecat2 on 2008-04-10 15:48:44

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 10, 2008 11:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

Outstanding read, Syd! And of course you are right, and I am largely wrong, generally speaking (ie, there are some great shows spread throughout the 30 yrs, and some bad ones).

My experience is that I have a harder time getting folks that are inexperienced to "get it" with post 72 material, but an easier time with earlier era stuff. Not a defn test of the hypothesis, I am sure, but that in part is what I have found. It is no doubt related to my biases, and that of the folks I expose them too, but I have done it with quite a few "kids" (ie, 18-20 yr olds), so it's not just 60s types.

I have not critically evaluated the reviews here to be sure, but much of what I find with folks that rave about post 71 shows is that they are the sorts that say "if you get it, you will love this, period" and thus they really are the uncritical sorts described by others above. I have found them to be relatively numerous.

I was one, having grown up with the 74-82 live DEAD era (all the shows I went to, etc.). Having tried for years to get others to see what I heard, I fell from grace, and came back to the boys focused entirely on the early era, and found it much easier to convince others that they should get it.

Does that make sense?

So, my over the top comment was really more in the spirit of "when did the DEAD really make their mark, do some amazing things, and generally have the ability to impress someone that wasn't a convert alread?" and I think that's the early era.

But, you are right--I am full of crap to suggest that it is absolutely the case that post 71 they didn't do anything of note...

There, I can almost keep up with you!

So good to see you here again, Syd.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Apr 11, 2008 10:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

Good thread - syd really says (types) it well.

For Mr. Arrowslinger - if you dare venture beyond 72 you should add 12-31-83 to "list of post 72 shows to check" - I myself thought I was listening to Pigpen on Big Boss Man for a second (Jerry was channeling).

I will have to remember to give Syds write-up a more thorough go through after work.

Thanks all that is why I love this place - people putting thought provoking stuff into words, stuff I have mucho trouble putting into words.

I seem to be limited to reveiws like: "That was out Effing standing!!!!! Woooooo Hooooo!!!!!"

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 11, 2008 1:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

Yeah, he sure does...just wanted you to know I saw this and said "thanks" as I will gone a few days...

Hang in there; keep it focused in my absence. Or not.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Apr 11, 2008 2:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

I was just 'focusing' on the absolutastic Around & Around from 12-16-78 and had to play it twice.

Is this rendition of Around & Around with the explosion of a Johnny B Goode Jam the Cat's PJ's or what. I may have to put together a separate post for this one wild jam . . .the boys out-did themselves though, the Saturday Night Encore sounds almost dull after the 12-16 Around & Around.

Have a good weekend Mr. Tell.

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Poster: sydthecat2 Date: Apr 11, 2008 6:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

See William, I gave up trying to get people into the Dead over a decade ago, maybe even before we lost Jerry. In fact I rarely go out of my way to play the band when people who aren't into them are around. Even when I worked in a major record store in '94-95 I did not play the band once in nine months(our dept had control of the music played in the store) until my last day working there (I played the Live I should have told him about 1971-74 when they only had Billy but I knew there was more to it than the drum sound---I mean come ON!

Thing is, by not pushing the band I garnered more respect for them than I possibly could have by pushing them. People discovered my other musical tastes over-lapped with theirs. Music that had great cache with them I loved too and I remember the hard-ass guy who was my manager in the department (jazz, blues, worldbeat, r&B, country) that I worked in that record store came to think that there must be something to the Dead because he respected my musical taste and that his dislike of them was simply down to them not being his cup of tea rather than the band sucking. Mission accomplished!

I spent the better part of the 80's trying hard to get people into the Dead. The cafe/pub I managed at university got it's share of their music played on the sound system (we also played everything from Metallica to Miles Davis but all people remember is the Dead). I ran a Dead dance event every Friday for two years there that started around four in the afternoon and often ended around nine or ten at night. But now I feel the Dead are mine. And my tribe's as it were.

There are some people around, friends, who think that the fact I'm into the Dead is funny or quaint or even cool, whatever that is. But I'd rather talk Radiohead or reggae with them. Maybe turn them on to some Wilson Pickett or Shack or our own Sun Parlor Players. Rather talk about the genius of Otis Redding or even Janis or why I like Hunky Dory. The Dead's greatness is a given. And it's there for people to discover. In all its ragged glory.

I'm part of a group on Facebook called 1000 Songs and there the person who started the group chooses a song a day (or tries to) that means something to his life and the rest of us comment on it or bring our experience or knowledge of the song to the table. It's a fun thing for us middle-aged music geeks to do. One day one of those song chosen by him was Morning Dew. I'll send you my part of what was written in a minute. I think you'll see what I mean by restraint and distance when I tell other people about the band. The guy who started the group is a fellow I knew in University who, at the time, really didn't care for the Dead and now he really likes them--in an idiosyncratic way--he prefers their classic studio records. I did that by just not being around for fifteen years so the poor guy could get some air and approach them on his own. Thing is if I'd talked other music than the Dead with him more often I would have discovered that he and I loved a lot of stuff that I thought he was too hip to dig. And he was one of the guys who introduced me to the band Love---a band I now adore and revere.

Peace.

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Poster: Essayist Date: Jun 3, 2008 4:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

Search for Ready Steady Go (1966)

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffDiana Hamilton Date: Jun 3, 2008 4:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

Hi, since you uploaded
http://www.archive.org/details/Ready_Steady_Go_Otis_Redding_Eric_Burdon_Chris_Farlowe
can you describe what you know of the rights status of your copy of the program for this site, so that we would be able to make it available going forward? Thanks for clarification!

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2008-06-03 23:46:46

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Poster: Essayist Date: Jun 4, 2008 1:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

It is made up of 3 separate clips I downloaded from YouTube manipulated with a bit of psychedelia by me. I can't vouch for the copyright so I suppose you can't host it even if it is for educational purposes, shame as it is a excellent example of 60s music performed by 3 fantastic artists.

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Poster: sydthecat2 Date: Apr 11, 2008 7:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

Here's that review/analysis as promised from the Facebook site I mentioned. This is my comment only::

"Funny. I really don't have all that much to say about the Dead anymore. I love them. They're in my DNA. I suppose with a couple of drinks in me I could talk at length about why they hold such an important place in my heart and soul. But I must have bored so many people back in the late 80's with my mania (Hi Jill!) that now I just keep the boys all to myself and members of the "tribe". When I worked at Sam's I never played them in the store for much the same reason. On my last day I broke down and threw on Cumberland Blues and Dark Star. (I mean it was only fair. I played everybody else's stuff for God's sake! I played Travis!!!) So to write about Morning Dew I'll imagine I've had a couple of drinks but keep the mania to a minimum.

I have had transcendental moments watching the band play this song. It was always deeply moving but a couple I saw were jaw-droppers. The elegaic performance of Dew I saw at Deer Creek Amphitheatre in Indiana in 1990 is the one I'll always remember but there were many of them that I have heard on tape or CD that equal or even surpass that one.

The version Jim has chosen is atypical. By 1969 the band had slowed the tempo and created the more familiar "slowburn" arrangement that often ended with a stunning crescendoed solo by Garcia. The version Jim writes about is more garage and very much of its time---1966-7. The tempo is faster. It is suffused with reverb. The band sound as if they've been chewing dexies rather than dropping acid. The whole album has that sound. Pigpen's mixed way upfront farfisa-style organ gives the LP a sound unlike any other Dead record. Odd, since live, he was clearly playing a B3. Maybe it's just the way its mixed. Most of the songs on the album are blues-based covers and many are played insanely fast---ie: Cold Rain and Snow, Jesse Fuller's Beat It On Down the Line. The former song sounds as if someone spiked The Weavers' drinks with something naughty and handed them electric instruments. It's all very uncommercial having more in common with the Nuggets-style bands of the day than cohorts like Jefferson Airplane or It's a Beautiful Day. Only Golden Road sounds like an attempt at a hit single, and the closer Viola Lee Blues is the only song that gives a clue to what the Dead had been doing with form in clubs and ballrooms since 1965. I know I'm writing about more than Morning Dew here but I think this time the context is important. For a number of years this was the only Grateful Dead album I had. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what was remotely psychedelic about them.

Morning Dew during this era had a great deal of verve and this version has more in common with Lulu and the other more soulful versions than you might think. (I actually have Lulu's version on the flipside of my To Sir With Love 45. It's bloody good. And Long John Baldry recorded the song on his classic LP It Ain't Easy). The band's next album, Anthem of the Sun would be a more accurate barometer of what the years '67 and '68 had in store for the band in concert.

Here's a Bonnie Dobson tidbit. I read this in either MOJO or UNCUT which did a story on the song and interviewed her around the time Robert Plant released his version. When the Dead came to Toronto in 1967 to play a series of gigs at the O'Keefe Centre they contacted Dobson and invited her to the gig. Either that or she just went on her own knowing that they were playing her tune but I think she was invited. It is appalling how long I thought Tim Rose had written that song. I believe it has been sorted and I hope she has got her financial due. At any rate they both continue to be credited for the writing of the song so Rose is still making change off it. Dobson never saw The Dead again and I don't know if she's ever heard any of the myriad versions released by them in the last forty years.

The version in the Grateful Dead Movie and on the Soundtrack and on Europe '72 would be acceptable versions for the uninitiated to check out. A caveat. All the vocals on Europe '72 with the exception of the Pigpen vocals are studio takes. The band's playing is live and undubbed but the vocals are completely re-done which accounts for it's sweetness and American Beauty-style harmonies.

To hear live versions from the '67 era , www.archive.org has a fair bit from '66 and '67. The less interested and I know they are legion and many are in this Group should just check out Jim's favorite version. Those of you who despise the band, and I know there are many of you too, will have stopped reading long ago. Along with three or four other songs this is also the quintessential Dead for me. I should have bought that Morning Dew t-shirt in the parking lot when I had the chance. Okay, the drinks are wearing off..."

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 11, 2008 1:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tell can't add to begin with...

Thanks Syd! Rushing, but will give this all more attention when I return from a brief trip...

Thanks for all the efforts; appreciated.

If we aren't necessarily the best critics, at least we can express ourselves with passion, which is what it's all about...

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Poster: JamminJerome Date: Apr 9, 2008 8:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

I'm with you on that one, strat. Not every show is a good one. As much as I love the Dead, there are several shows that I never want to hear again, under ANY circumstances. And I will point that out in my reviews!

However, I will have to say that in general, most deadheads are too soft on the boys. I don't understand how some people can give 5 stars to some of the shows here.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Apr 9, 2008 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

I totally agree with your perspective and I know Bobby commented on same back in the 80's when he lamented the fact that whether they played good or bad they got essentially the same response from the crowd. I'll see if I can track down his quote re same...

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: Apr 9, 2008 3:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

maybe because i'm in my twenties and never seen them live, maybe i respect the dead too much. i think that since they blew me away with all those great sixties and seventies shows, i can forgive some of the average eighties shows. maybe they were burnt out, bored, the gigs became work for them at some point, and less of a spiritual journey. i know an average show from a good one, and a good one from a great one. i don't hold that against them. i think i mainly judge a show based on how jerry sang and played. maybe that's unfair to the rest of them.

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Poster: sunmonster Date: Apr 9, 2008 5:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

I do believe that deadheads' same, positive reaction to the music, however good or bad it was played, contributed to the band's ever-increasing distance from deadheads, and to individual band member's (i.e.: Garcia) isolation. The earplug monitors the band started to wear in the '90s said it all to me.

That said, there were many, MANY times that I really had a great time, even if it wasn't a five-star show.

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Poster: Sugar Sweet Date: Apr 10, 2008 12:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

I don't buy it.

If you are at a concert, you have an incentive to try to encourage the musicians to get inspired and play their best, even if they aren't. Those who have been on the stage now the feeling. An appreciative audience usually has a better effect on the quality of the music.

If only we all had Bobby's problem: too much appreciation!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 10, 2008 7:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

Agreed...were they actually going to change up mid set as a result of what they saw in the audience?

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Poster: sunmonster Date: Apr 10, 2008 5:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

It's one thing to be appreciative... even if it's appreciating the screwups. Some of the best moments I've had at shows were when someone flubbed an obvious lyric, for instance (before this became all-too-common), and the crowd would roar in empathetic approval.

But it's another thing to have the same level of approval for every show. If you don't do something well, and someone tells you you were great, how does that make you feel? Do you trust that person? In the end, I think it makes you isolated ..

Now can you have fun at a sub-standard show? There's no doubt.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 10, 2008 6:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

Yeah, I hear you on those points.

I too loved the change up and out right screw ups on lyrics. Everybody did. M&MUnc, with Bob saying something along the lines of "...starts to draw, I hit him once, cracked him in the jaw..." or some such. Loved it. June, 75.

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Poster: sunmonster Date: Apr 10, 2008 6:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

One of my favorite screw ups of all time happened to be the only show I ever was (or wanted to be) in the front row for G.A. seating: 3/27/85 at Nassau. During the Touch of Grey encore, Jerry totally blew the bridge after the solo, and the band could not recover gracefully. I think the crowd loved it, but no one was smiling on stage!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 10, 2008 7:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

That had to be "good". Can't say I ever witnessed an instance in which the band seemed to react to a screwup, other than Bob sometimes saying "sorry about that" inbetween verses...always thought that was cool.

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Poster: Sugar Sweet Date: Apr 10, 2008 10:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

The Dead's loose approach to performance meant that mistakes and screw ups were quite common. To love the Dead, you have to be able to take the bitter with the sweet. (I have a number of friends who don't like the Dead for that reason: their loss) If I were the Dead on stage, I would not interpret applause after screw-ups as an endorsement of the screw-up, but as an acknowledgement of hard core fans that a screw-up took place, and shrugging it off as no big deal.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Apr 11, 2008 11:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: dead heads as critics

Yeah - If you get a response for a screw-up at least you know the fans are paying attention . . .and you better get your act together and pay attention in return!!

Favorite one liner: I'm so broke I can't even pay Attention.